• Our Approach

    Our Approach

The world moves at the speed of change, and change happens at the speed of trust. The Patterson Foundation believes that philanthropy strengthens the efforts of people, organizations, and communities. Strong communities work together to achieve shared aspirations and can even thrive in the face of adversity.

Rather than having grant cycles or requests for proposals, we invest in strengthening communities. Support through the thoughtful use of assets takes time and intention. That is why we focus on helping people engage with each other, providing expertise, encouraging learning, and sharing promising practices.

Connecting is at the heart of how we work and everything we do. The Patterson Foundation's staff and consultants would be delighted to make a presentation about the foundation and its initiatives at one of your organization's upcoming meetings or events. Please fill out the Speaker Request Form, and we will contact you within two business days of receiving your completed form.

As shown in the concepts below, The Patterson Foundation’s icons symbolize its approach to philanthropy and reflect its collaborative philosophy and tenets of change as we undertake — with joyful stewardship — philanthropic work in ways others are not doing, cannot do, or will not do.

Watch President and CEO, Debra Jacobs, explain The Patterson Foundation's approach to philanthropy

(total time: 5 minutes 15 seconds)

CATALYSTS FOR GOOD

The Patterson Foundation (TPF) works with people, businesses, nonprofits, government, and the media to accelerate progress toward shared aspirations. This is achieved through five key actions: Connecting → Learning → Sharing → Evolving → Strengthening

(Access the one-page PDF file of the entire "Catalysts for Good" section to download it. Or, to share an individual icon and its text, click on the icon to pull up its JPG and then right-click to save.)

Connecting
Connecting: TPF's approach is organized around the principle that, to learn, share, evolve, and strengthen, we must first be connected. TPF provides opportunities to bring people, organizations, and communities together, strategically linking Internal Stakeholders (CEO/executive director, board, staff, donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries); External Stakeholders (people, businesses, nonprofits, government, and the media); and Areas (local, regional, statewide, national, and global communities).
 

Learning test
Learning
Learning: TPF recognizes the importance of investing in learning — because the time spent listening, asking, and exploring builds mutual understanding, and mutual understanding fosters the development of trust.
 

Sharing
Sharing
Sharing: TPF believes that important assets — including information, knowledge, skills, and expertise — are interwoven through collaboration to bolster the impact of initiatives. Sharing is the pivotal point linking the benefits of connecting and learning to the opportunities for evolving and strengthening.
 

Evolving
Evolving
Evolving: A core philosophy of TPF is that “change happens at the speed of trust.” As confidence grows, the belief in new possibilities begins to emerge, and meaningful incremental changes are made toward positive transformations.
 

Strengthening TEST
Strengthening
Strengthening: TPF supports the efforts of people, organizations, and communities by focusing on issues that address mutual aspirations, foster wide participation, and encourage learning and sharing.
 
 

Importance of Alignment

While everything collaborators do requires trust, The Patterson Foundation has learned that the alignment of five characteristics — leadership, willingness, readiness, capacity, and culture — is also critical to preparedness and, ultimately, success.

(Access the one-page PDF file of the entire "Importance of Alignment" section to download it. Or, to share an individual icon and its text, click on the icon to pull up its JPG and then right-click to save.)

leadership
Leadership

Openness and commitment to
taking on uncharted ventures

willingness
Willingness

Enthusiasm about working
together and with others

readiness
Readiness

Availability to embrace the
journey

capacity
Capacity

Ability to bring assets to the work
and to implement strategic
recommendations

culture
Culture

Shared belief that strengthening the
future starts with passionaries and
possibilitarians

 
 

OPPORTUNITies FOR IMPACT

The Patterson Foundation uses seven important methods to embrace the future and stay the course for positive change.

(Access the one-page PDF file of the entire "Opportunities for Impact" section to download it. Or, to share an individual icon and its text, click on the icon to pull up its JPG and then right-click to save.)

partner alignment test
Partner 
Alignment

Aligning five characteristics — leadership, willingness, readiness, capacity, and culture — to be prepared and, ultimately, successful

Internal Stakeholders
Engagement

Engaging all stakeholders — CEO/executive director, board, staff, donors, volunteers, and beneficiaries — by uncovering needs and finding solutions together

External Stakeholders
External Stakeholders
Engagement

Working with people, businesses, nonprofits, government, and the media to rethink obstacles and explore solutions


issues to ispirations correct 01
Issues
Aspirations

Shifting the focus from problems, challenges, and barriers to a shared vision and new possibilities

enabling to engaging correct 02 01
Enabling
Engaging

Rather than taking actions that perpetuate problems, creating opportunities that change realities


silos to systems test
Silos
Systems

Rather than acting in isolation, exploring, discovering, and working together in a shared ecosystem

outputs to outcomes test
Outputs
Outcomes

Leveraging specific actions to achieve desired results


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